Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Nicotine Health Problems

Nicotine Health Risks

Nicotine is a drug found in all forms of tobacco. With tobacco products prevalent worldwide, nicotine poses considerable health risks that include addiction, other psychological effects, cardiovascular problems, pulmonary problems and death.


Nicotine causes tobacco addiction. An addiction changes some of the wiring in the brain, making tobacco users crave nicotine more and more. Without nicotine, they will feel unpleasant and experience symptoms of withdrawal.

Historically, nicotine has been one the most difficult addictions to overcome. In fact, a 1988 Surgeon General Report found that, in terms of behavior, nicotine addicts resemble heroin and cocaine users.

Other Psychological Effects

Scientists have studied the psychological effects of nicotine on teenagers, particularly those who smoke. According to drugabuse.gov, teenage smokers are six times more likely to develop agoraphobia, the fear of places without a clear escape, and 15 times more likely to suffer panic attacks. In teenagers, depression and anxiety disorders also increase with nicotine consumption.

Cardiovascular Problems

Nicotine makes the heart work harder, increasing blood pressure, blood flow and heart rate. It also narrows and hardens the arteries. In smokers, these cardiovascular problems compound the effects of the carbon monoxide in cigarette smoke, which reduces the blood's oxygen levels. This upsets the balance between the blood's oxygen supply and body's oxygen demands.

Nicotine's can also lead to more serious conditions. By damaging the arteries, nicotine increases the risk of blood clots and stroke. Nicotine's effect on the heart, in turn, increases the risk of heart attack and cardiovascular disease.

Pulmonary Problems

Short term, nicotine interferes with air from the lungs and reduces physical stamina. Long term, nicotine causes lung disease as well as cancer of the oral cavity and respiratory tract.


Each year, some 500,000 million Americans die from nicotine-related complications. Smoking is especially lethal. Approximately one out of every six deaths in the United States results from smoking.

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